In early June of 2015, a drunk driver struck and killed a 31-year-old woman who was jogging along Lakeside Drive in Harveys Lake. The driver, a 54-year-old male who had been drinking at Grotto Pizza, fled the scene of the accident and was found hours later by police with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) 2 ½ times the legal limit.
After the incident, the woman’s family filed a lawsuit against Grotto Pizza and American Legion Riders Post 672, a venue located in Dallas, Pennsylvania. Attorney Neil O’Donnell is representing the estate of the woman who lost her life in the crash.
There are several issues surrounding the case. First, Grotto Pizza and American Legion Riders Post 672 oversold the man responsible for the DUI crash even though he was visibly intoxicated. Multiple cameras in the pizzeria recorded the defendant being overserved. However, Grotto failed to preserve this crucial video evidence.
Neil O’Donnell filed a motion arguing that Grotto assured law enforcement and the estate of the deceased woman that it would preserve all video evidence from the date of the accident. The motion argues Grotto destroyed this crucial video evidence in bad faith.
In the motion, Neil O’Donnell wrote “Had Grotto fulfilled its duty to preserve all of the surveillance video from that night, the jury would have a much clearer picture as to whether Michael Scavone was visibly intoxicated at the time of being served. Grotto must not be permitted to destroy extremely relevant evidence and then argue to a judge or jury that there is no evidence to support the plaintiff’s claim.”
Neil O’Donnell asked the Luzerne County Judge to grant a summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff’s estate.
The defendant is serving 7 to 16 years in prison for vehicular homicide, causing an accident involving death or injury and two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol.
What Are Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Laws?
Under state law, establishments that overserve intoxicated patrons are liable for damages if those patrons cause drunk driving crash injuries or deaths. Pennsylvania’s dram shop law applies to businesses and private events. State law also holds social hosts liable for drunk driving damages caused by providing minors alcohol.
You should speak with a Wilkes-Barre car accident lawyer if you or a loved one suffered harm due to a drunk driving accident. It may be possible to recover compensation that can pay for your damages, such as medical expenses and lost income.
If you want to determine whether it would be possible to recover compensation from a drunk driving accident, then we encourage you to call O’Donnell Law Offices for a free consultation. Our attorneys can explain whether you have options. Call us at (570)258-8820 or use the online contact form on our website.